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A Good Father

HE SAID he would be back next day. Deborah closed the door behind the man, returned to the kitchen and poured a gin and tonic. She took ice from the fridge and sat down at the table with the drink in front of her. Her hand shook as she lifted the heavy glass. Tonic or something must have been spilled because the glass made a wet ring on the pine surface. She thought she should fetch a cloth and wipe it before it did any damage, but she didn’t have the will.

She had been sorting out newspapers for collection when the doorbell rang. Still holding a magazine, she’d opened the door.

The man, he said his name was Joshua… something…carried a briefcase. Deborah ignored the card he tried to show her; he wouldn’t be coming into the house.

Then he spoke her father’s name. His real name. He stood there on the doorstep and told her that he had some very important information about her father. His mouth smiled, but his voice didn’t. Her father was in hospital so she brought the man into the house. He was so tall he almost had to stoop to enter the room. His grey suit and rimless glasses made him look like a lawyer. In the siting room he’d advised her to sit down before he began to tell her why he had come. But then he asked where her father was, in the same passionless voice.

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116 glorious pages of the best crack in Scotland and beyond!